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If you purchase this book without a cover you should be aware that this book may have been stolen property and reported as “unsold and destroyed” to the publisher. In such case neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this “stripped book.”

Copyright © 2006 by Joyce Meyer All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Inter- national Version®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked NASB are taken from the New American Standard Bible. Copy- right © The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995. Used by permission.

Scripture quotations marked TLB are taken from The Living Bible © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189.

Scripture quotations marked NKJV are taken from The New King James Version. Copyright

© 1979, 1980, 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Scripture quotations marked KJV are taken from the King James Version of the Bible.

Scripture quotations marked AMP are taken from The Amplified Bible. Old Testament copyright

© 1965, 1987 by Zondervan Corporation, Grand Rapids, Michigan. New Testament copyright

© 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, California. Used by permission.

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Meyer, Joyce Battlefield of the mind for teens : winning the battle in your mind / Joyce Meyer with Todd Hafer.—1st ed. p. Summary: “A guide to overcoming the worries of the world, written specifically for teen readers”—Provided by the publisher. Includes bibliographical references. ISBN 978-0-446-69764-4

cm.

1. Christian teenagers—Religious life.

2. Thought and thinking—Religious aspects—

Christianity.

3. Spiritual warfare.

I. Hafer, Todd.

II. Title.

BV4531.3.M49 2006

248.8'3—dc22

2005034011

CONTENTS

PART ONE It’s All About the Mind 1

Chapter 1

This Is Your Mind Battle 7

This Is Your Mind in a

Chapter 2

John, Mary, and the Blended Family That Doesn’t Wanna Blend 13

Chapter 3

Just Who Do You Think You Are? 23

Chapter 4

Perseverance = Payoff 29

Chapter 5

The Power of the Positive 33

Chapter 6

Don’t Let Satan Put Your Mind in a Bind 41

Chapter 7

Think About What You’re Thinking About 46

PART TWO How’s Your Head? 53

Chapter 8

Is My Mind Normal, or What? 59

Chapter 9

Oh, Where Has My Mind Run Off to This Time? 63

vi

Contents

PART THREE Six States You Do Not Want to Live In 69

Chapter 10 The State of Confusion 73

Chapter 11 The States of Doubt and Unbelief 80

Chapter 12 The State of Worry 88

Chapter 13 The State of Judgment 92

Chapter 14 The State of Passivity 96

PART FOUR Unheavenly Head-Spaces 101

Unheavenly Head-Space #1 “I don’t wanna take responsibility for my spirituality—isn’t that what we have pastors and parents for?” 105

Unheavenly Head-Space #2 “My future is determined by my past and my present.” 108

Unheavenly Head-Space #3 “It’s my way or the highway.” 111

Unheavenly Head-Space #4 “Life is too hard for me to take— can’t God make it easier?” 116

Unheavenly Head-Space #5 “Life is so unfair—doesn’t that give me the right to complain?” 118

Unheavenly Head-Space #6 “My behavior might be wrong—but it’s not my fault.” 123

Unheavenly Head-Space #7 I have a right to feel sorry for myself— my life stinks!” 127

Unheavenly Head-Space #8 “I’m not a very good person, so I don’t deserve God’s blessings.” 131

Contents

vii

Unheavenly Head-Space #9 “Why shouldn’t I be jealous? Most of the people I know are better off than I am!” 133

Conclusion WWJT Is Your WMD! 138

Notes 149

Bibliography 153

CHAPTER
CHAPTER

This Is Your Mind This Is Your Mind in a Battle

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. —Ephesians 6:12

A re you feeling a little tired lately? Confused? Depressed?

Kicked-around? It’s no wonder—you’re in a war.

However, your war isn’t a conventional battle that can

be fought with conventional weapons. Take a look at the scrip- ture that begins this chapter. This warfare isn’t with other human beings. Not your arch nemesis at school. Not your teachers. Not your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend. Not even your parents. Your enemy is Satan himself, the ex-angel-turned-devil—and

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his demonic forces. (The Amplified version of the Bible calls them “master spirits.”) Satan’s coming after you with a carefully crafted plan of attack, one you might not even see coming. In fact, you might not even believe you’re in a war at all. That’s one of your enemy’s best tricks—deception. Satan is a liar. Jesus called him “the father of lies and of all that is false” (John 8:44 AMP). Here are some of his deceptive lines, which he’ll use as he tries to control your mind. How many of them have you heard, in one form or another?

You don’t need to listen to your parents, your pastor, your youth leaders, and all those other people who try to tell you how to live. I mean, look at ’em, those incompetent hyp- ocrites. Look at all their flaws and inconsistencies. This is your life. Live it your way.

Drinking, drugs, and sex won’t really hurt you. All of those horror stories won’t happen to you. It’s just a big scare tactic. Adults just don’t want you to have any fun—even though they had plenty when they were your age.They just want to control you.

Do you really believe in “the devil”? Some red-skinned bald dude with a pointy tail and a pitchfork? An intelligent person like you? Get real—that’s a myth. There is no devil, and there is no hell. And, by the way, there is no God or heaven, either. “Right now” is all there is. So, get yours while you can.

Come on, admit it: You have doubts about God all the time. If God was real, why would He allow those doubts to creep up inside of your head?

If there really was a God who cared, would you feel as lonely as you do, as overwhelmed by life as you do, as powerless to change things?

Battlefield of the Mind FOR TEENS

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Have you ever felt like someone was peppering your mind with questions and concerns like these? That’s how Satan works. He plants all kinds of nagging thoughts, suspicions, and doubts in your mind. He moves slowly, according to his well-laid plans for you. Always remember that when it comes to destroying your life, Satan has a custom-tailored battle strategy just for you. He has studied you for a long time.And he’s going to attack you where you’re weak, where you’re curious, where you’re inconsistent. For example, he knows your insecurities. If you are self- conscious about your physical appearance, the devil might devise a plan to bring someone into your life who tells you that you’re hot, someone who makes you feel attractive. Then, this person you’ve welcomed into your life might start to pressure you for sex. You know you shouldn’t, but you don’t want to risk losing someone who makes you feel so good about yourself. So now Satan can sit back and watch you squirm. He’s put his secret weapon in place. He has time—and your raging hormones— on his side. He knows that you can’t click on the TV, power up your computer, or open a magazine without seeing sexual content of some sort. (For example, there are more than 4 million pornographic Web sites on the Internet.) He’ll invest as much time as it takes to bring you down. The devil is short in a lot of areas, but patience isn’t one of them. He has patience to spare. Fortunately for you, you’re not going into the battle un- armed. The Bible, God’s holy message, assures you, “For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds, [Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and

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we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedi- ence of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed one)” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5 AMP). Now, you might be asking yourself, What are these “strong- holds” that I’m supposed to overthrow and destroy? Think of it this way: Satan wants to play you like a video game, conquering one level at a time. Let’s go back to our sexual-temptation example. Satan’s not going to try to turn you from a pure person into a promiscuous, out-of-control sex addict overnight. No, he’s much more likely to get you interested in a sexually suggestive-yet-mainstream movie—the kind that’s in movie the- aters and on basic cable TV all the time. Or maybe an Internet chat room where the conversation occasionally—but not all the time—turns inappropriate. Next, you might find yourself visiting Web sites you know you shouldn’t, or taking your interest in suggestive movies to the next level—graduating from typical cable fare to pay-per-view stuff that turns up the sexual heat. And so it goes. The same kind of thing happens with drugs, drinking, cheating, and lying. How many of your friends have you heard lying to their parents, via cell phone, about where they are, whom they are with, and what they are doing? Those lies, most likely, were probably more innocuous at first—like “Sure, Mom, I ate breakfast this morning,” or,“Honest, Dad, we weren’t assigned any homework this weekend.” But those “Level 1” lies soon be- came Level 2, and so on. Are you beginning to see Satan’s sneaky war strategy? Is it scaring you, at least a little? Good. Every good soldier approaches battle with a heightened sense of awareness. Only a fool would charge into a war and not be aware of what is at stake.

Battlefield of the Mind FOR TEENS

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The Dirty Dozen: 12 Ways Today’s Teens Are Losing the Battle for Their Minds—and for Their Lives

1. Almost half of all 9th- through 12th-graders have had sex—including 61 percent of high-school seniors. (And teens who watch lots of sex on TV are more than twice as likely to have sex as those who are more discerning about their TV viewing.) 1,2

2. Nearly half of people under the age of 21 who drink al- cohol, binge-drink. (Binge-drinking is defined as having five or more drinks on one occasion.) More than 500,000 young people are unintentionally injured every year while under the influence of alcohol.And about 1,500 of this number die as a direct result of alcohol abuse, such as alcohol poisoning. 3

3. Seventy-three percent of teens say they see at least one act of discrimination a month, but only 22 percent speak up and do something about it. 4

4. Parents and teens are not on the same page—or even in the same book—when it comes to sex. While half of today’s teens are sexually active, 84 percent of parents believe their kids are not sexually active. Meanwhile, 87 percent of teens say it would be easier to delay sex if they could have more open, honest talks with parents. 5

5. One in six of today’s young females are drunk when they lose their virginity. (One in seven say their partner was drunk, as well.) 6

6. The United States has the highest STD and teen-pregnancy rates in the developed world. In fact, the U.S. rate of teen pregnancy is double that of any other industrialized nation. 7

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7.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among Ameri- cans ages 15 to 24. 8

8.

More than 4 million teens become infected with an STD each year. 9

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Almost one in four 8th-graders has tried “huffing”— using household chemicals like paint thinner or type cor- rector to get high. 10

10.

Every year in the United States, more than 800,000 girls 19 and under get pregnant. 11

11.

The average age at which teens start taking drugs is 13. 12

12.

Among sexually active high-school seniors, more than 21 percent have had four or more sex partners. 13

Okay, let’s take a look at what we’ve learned so far.

1. You are engaged in a war.

2. Satan is your enemy.

3. Your own mind is the battleground.

4. The devil will work diligently to establish strongholds in your mind, conquering the territory piece by piece, just like a master gamer conquers a video game.

5. The devil works to achieve victory by strategy and de- ceit—battle plans and lies. One of his best lies is to con- vince you that he doesn’t exist.

6. Your enemy is in no hurry. He’s going to take his time. He doesn’t need to win now. He just wants to win in the end.

Now, let’s move on to the next chapter and see another way that a satanic plan can work its cruel results.